Home

 

Tea, a healthy and gastronomic beverage

In recent years tea, once considered oh so traditional, has come into its own as a contemporary drink. Among reasons for this renaissance are scientific proof of tea’s health-giving attributes, which have been known and used for thousands of years. Long valued by traditional Chinese medicine, tea-drinking spread from the East far and wide. The Western world has rediscovered a beverage valued down the generations. The infusion of the leaves of the tea-bush in water gives a taste so rich and varied it not only refreshes but delights the palate. The leaves are selected, tended, blended and enjoyed with the same professionalism and discrimination as wine. Tea is not a simple beverage. There are as many ways of enjoying it as there are tea gardens on hillsides. As with wine, tea has ‘vintage’ years. There are hundreds of ways to grow, pick and cure the leaves, by country, region or individual plantation. It is as rich and varied as the places it is grown. Its enjoyment is a matter of ceremony or celebration—an affirmation of cultural identity. Tea is venerated in the ritual of its drinking in China, Japan or Morocco. But it is comfortably enjoyed as the cheerful cuppa in Britain, or as the centre of social life round the samovar in Russia. In all circumstances, tea drinking has overtones of hospitality. These multiple facets feed my passion and my profession for over 19 years. So, join me on a trip down the tea trail…